- Excellent storage space
- Solid build quality
- Generous equipment
- Not much fun to drive
- Interior is a little dated
- Not the most fuel efficient
Smart, reliable family SUV
The Honda CR-V was one of the first SUVs to focus on on-road family motoring, rather than off road capability. First introduced in 1997, the CR-V is one of the longest running models in the Honda range. Now in its fourth generation, the CR-V remains one of the most popular cars for family buyers. It offers tremendous practicality, an excellent reliability record, and comes with plenty of safety features. It might not be the most driver-orientated cars, but for families who want a car that’s built to last, the CR-V is a great option to consider.
An update in 2012 featured a complete redesign, with improvements in nearly every area.
Solid, spacious, and generously equipped
The Honda CR-V is a car that’s designed to withhold the rigours of family life, and the interior certainly does that. It might not be the most attractive design, but build quality is excellent. It’s also spacious, and you won’t be disappointed with the amount of kit you get.
The dashboard design of the CR-V isn’t going to win any design awards, but it’s without doubt functional. Controls are well-placed, well-damped, and easy to use, perfect for when you’re travelling with your family, and need things close to hand. Build quality is also excellent, with durable, classy materials used throughout. It’s an interior that feels like it’s built to last generations, so it’s sure to be an attractive proposition for family buyers.
When it comes to space, the CR-V also impresses. Not only is there more than enough room for five full-sized adults in the cabin, there’s also lots of storage space. A class-leading 589 litre boot capacity trumps all of the CR-V’s rivals, with the Nissan Qashqai (430 litres), the Renault Kadjar (472 litres), and the Ford Kuga (442 litres) all falling short of the CR-V. It’s also a good shape, and there’s a practical electric boot on higher spec models, perfect for when you’re carrying the kids and need to put shopping away.
Equipment levels in the CR-V are also excellent, no matter which trim you choose to go for. Even the entry-level S trim comes with climate control, cruise control, and a DAB radio. If you want automatic lights and wipers, and Bluetooth connectivity, you’ll have to upgrade to the SE trim, which also adds parking sensors, items which will aid comfort, and make the CR-V easier to get into tight spaces.
The inside of the CR-V really is a great family package. It’s well-built, spacious, and generously equipped. One thing’s for certain, you’re not going to feel short-changed when you sit in your CR-V.
Comfortable rather than fun
Most family buyers when they’re looking for their next SUV won’t be looking for an out-and-out driver’s car. The CR-V doesn’t buck the trend either, as it’s not particularly fun to drive. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of grip, and it feels solid and stable. Steering is great around town as it’s light, but out and the open road it offers little in the way of feedback. There’s also quite a lot of body roll through corners, so all in all it’s not a car that’s going to put a smile on your face hurtling through country roads.
One thing that the CR-V is though, is comfortable. The soft suspension setup means that the CR-V soaks up rough surfaces, potholes, and speed bumps with relative ease. It can be quite wallowy however, so it’s not particularly refined. Road, wind, and engine noise are kept to a reasonable level though, so the CR-V is a pretty decent motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the CR-V come in three guises. The standard throughout the range is a six-speed manual transmission, that is well-geared, and flexible to any situation. There’s also a five-speed automatic available on the 2.0 litre petrol, though it feels dated, and struggles when you want a quick burst of acceleration. The top of the range nine-speed automatic is fantastic if you can afford it.
Diesel engines are the stars of the range
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your CR-V, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. The diesel engines are undoubtedly the pick of the bunch, as they offer the best balance of power, efficiency, and green credentials.
Most buyers looking for a family SUV won’t be particularly interested in flat-out speed, and the CR-V certainly doesn’t offer a model for petrolheads in its lineup. The most powerful engine available is the twin-turbo diesel-powered 1.6 litre i-DTEC. This engine produces a respectable 158bhp, and will accelerate you from 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds. It’s not blisteringly quick, but if feels powerful enough for a family car.
Eco-friendly buyers will probably want to consider the lower-powered 1.6 i-DTEC (118bhp) engine, as it produces just 115g/km of CO2 emissions. Those figures are pretty impressive for a family SUV, but they’re not quite as impressive as the best Qashqai. This engine is however great for money-savers, as it can achieve up to 64mpg. So not only will you have a reasonable tax bill each year, you’ll also save yourself plenty of money at service stations.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your CR-V you’re going to get a modern, relatively clean, efficient family car. Most buyers will want to stick with the diesels however, as the petrol is less powerful, more thirsty, and less green.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, impressive standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Honda CR-V easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 93% in adult safety, 74% in child safety, and 68% in pedestrian safety, the CR-V is average for the class. You’ll also get stability control, traction control, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, trailer stability assist, and a braking system that stops the car if it detects an imminent collision.
Good value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Honda CR-V represents good value for money for family buyers. This obviously varies from model to model, but CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency figures are standard for the class. It’s worth noting that petrol-powered CR-Vs will be noticeably more expensive to run day-to-day, so they’re one too avoid, unless you really don’t want to convert to diesel power.
Insurance costs again depend upon which engine and trim you choose to go for. Costs are standard for the class however, so you won’t be paying more than you would for an equivalent rival. The cheapest CR-V to insure is the 2.0 i-VTEC S, which is in group 22, whilst the most expensive is the range-topping 1.6 i-DTEC EX, which is in group 27.
Depreciation is a large factor with the CR-V, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Honda CR-V is an SUV that has been loved by family buyers for generations. The latest CR-V is the best ever, it’s spacious, solidly built, and has some impressive safety features. There’s a lot of competition in the SUV market now, but the CR-V is still a sensible option for buyers who want a solid, reliable family car.
Buying a used Honda CR-V on finance with Carspring
If you’re after a used Honda CR-V on finance, it can feel like a bit of an ordeal. But with our range of easy finance options, you won’t ever need to feel stressed. Whether you want HP finance, £0 deposit, or simply want to pay the least you can per month, we’ve got the best deals for you. And with a range of Honda CR-Vs on finance starting around £250 a month, your perfect car won’t cost an arm and a leg. Even if you do pay no down payment to start with. We really are simple for finance.
What’s more, with any Carspring used CR-V, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your 2nd hand Honda to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.